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NEWS | Oct. 31, 2014

DOD's largest Navy-led study endorsed by Army's top doctor

By Anna Hancock Navy Health Research Center Public Affairs

The Department of Defense's largest longitudinal study in military history received an endorsement from the Army's surgeon general recently, emphasizing the importance of the Navy-led study across the military services
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As Naval Health Research Center's Millennium Cohort Study, or MilCo team is gearing up to launch a monumental survey effort, they anticipate the endorsement letter from Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, Army Surgeon General and commanding general of U.S. Army Medical Command, will help encourage and increase participation.

The team will launched the fiscal year 2014 survey effort in October to more than 200,000 service members.

"As a participant, the valuable information you provide will help the Millennium Cohort Study team, DOD and Veterans Affairs understand the health concerns and needs of service members and veterans," wrote Horoho. "Your continued participation is critical."

The Millennium Cohort study regularly surveys active duty, veteran, retiree and military family members who volunteered to participate.

The study was originally designed to follow participants for up to 21 years, but 21 years was recently extended to 67 years, allowing the team to follow participants throughout their lifespans.

"We work jointly with the nation's leading experts from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as our academic and private sector colleagues to execute our study," said Dr. David Luxton, NHRC's principal investigator and clinical psychologist. "This endorsement solidifies our study's relationship with the Army."

MilCo and the MilCo Family Study, a similar research endeavor specifically geared toward military family members, are vital to comprehensively examining the effects of military-unique exposures, including deployments, on long-term health.

The team produced more than 200 findings accepted in peer-reviewed publications or conferences, many implemented in the forms of policy changes, training programs or other evidence-based decision making by military leaders.

"The value our study has for our men and women in uniform, and their families, is immeasurable," NHRC's Commanding Officer Capt. Jacqueline Rychnovsky began. "We appreciate the support we received from Lt. Gen. Horoho, and the surgeons general from each of the services. It truly is a team effort."

As the DOD's premier deployment health research center, NHRC's cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation's armed forces.

Within close proximity to more than 95,000 uniformed service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC's expert team sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation and practical application.

For more information on The Millennium Cohort Study, visit http://www.millenniumcohort.org.